The PRA has welcomed the appointment of Priti Patel to a role in the Treasury in the government reshuffle announced by David Cameron.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “Such changes are often not helpful to trade associations like the PRA where a good rapport has been built up with existing incumbents such as Michael Fallon, Minister of Energy & Business, who provided the keynote speech at our “Regeneration Forum” in Westminster last autumn.
“The speed of change is also an irritant as Matthew Hancock becomes the fourth Minister of Energy since I commenced my role as chairman just five years ago.
“However, change can also bring improvements and I am hopeful that Priti Patel could be a great ally for the PRA based on my excellent contact with her over the plain packaging of tobacco proposals.
“She has led the back bench revolt and so it will be interesting to see if she remains as free-spirited and determined in her new and important role as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.”
Patel will no longer be chairman of the All Party Working Group on Small Shops, where, in addition to the issue of plain packaging, she has highlighted perceived problems with the Valuation Office Agency, expressed views that HMRC can act as a barrier to small firms and also called for the tax system to be simplified.
The responsibilities of her role are under review, but it has been confirmed they will include excise duties, including excise fraud and law enforcement, and energy policy and climate change.
Hancock has been appointed as Minister of State at both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
In his role at DECC, as Minister of State for Energy, his responsibilities include: resilience and emergency preparedness, international energy; renewable energy deployment; and oil and gas exploration, licensing and revenues.
As Minister of State for Business and Enterprise his responsibilities include: business sectors including low carbon economy, low emission vehicles, electronics; competitiveness and economic growth; deregulation and better regulation; and regional and local economic development (including grants for business investment.